Archive for the 'Peregrines' Category

Jun 11 2016

The Best Part of Peregrine Season

Published by under Peregrines

Before young peregrines fly they walk on the cliff ledges and exercise their wings.  Their parents encourage them by flying nearby.

Since the chick C1 walked off camera at the Cathedral of Learning yesterday, all the action has moved to the air above Schenley Plaza where Peter Bell (@PittPeregrines) recorded this video last evening.  We see the entire peregrine family at once — swooping, diving, and “wingercising” (wing + exercising).

This is why I love fledge watch.  It’s the best part of peregrine season!

I’ll be at Pitt Peregrine Fledge Watch at Schenley Plaza today, June 11, 9:00 to 11:00am followed by John English (Pittsburgh Falconuts) noon to 3:00pm, weather permitting.  We’ll also be there Sunday and Monday.  Visit the Events page for the schedule.

Come on down!

 

(video by Peter Bell @PittPeregrines)

14 responses so far

Jun 11 2016

Visitor On The Balcony

Published by under Peregrines

Immature peregrine in Downtown Pittsburgh, Lawrence Hall, 10 June 2016 (photo by Amanda McGuire)

Immature peregrine in Downtown Pittsburgh, Lawrence Hall, 10 June 2016 (photo by Amanda McGuire)

Caleb Rodgers had a peregrine outside his window at Point Park University last evening.

This young peregrine fledged from the Third Avenue nest several days ago.  He’s flying so well now that he visited one of his parents’ favorite perches at Lawrence Hall in Downtown Pittsburgh.

How cool is that!

 

(photo by Amanda McGuire)

4 responses so far

Jun 10 2016

Ledge Walking and Other News

Published by under Peregrines

Peregrine chick C1 bgins to ledge walk, 10 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Peregrine chick C1 begins to ledge walk, 10 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Peregrine chick C1 on her way to the nestrail, 10 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

C1 is about to leave the camera view, 10 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

It’s still All Peregrines All the Time here on the blog, but within a week they’ll all have flown and I’ll return to other topics.

Cathedral of Learning:

The female chick, C1, at the Cathedral of Learning disappeared from the streaming camera this morning by walking up the ledge near the snapshot camera.  Soon she was completely out of view.  She’s ledge walking!  Click here to see the big area she’s exploring above the keyholes.

C1 will ledge walk for 2+ days before she fledges. The only way to see her is from Schenley Plaza so come on down to Fledge Watch today, noon to 2:00pm, or this coming weekend to see what she and her parents are up to.  Check the Events page before you come.  The schedule changes frequently.

 

Downtown Pittsburgh:

Adult peregrine on Lawrence Hall gargoyle, Downtown Pittsburgh (photo by John English)

Adult peregrine on Lawrence Hall gargoyle, Downtown Pittsburgh (photo by John English)

Yesterday the Downtown peregrines were flying so well that it was hard to keep up with them.  We found two youngsters at noon: one on the Art Institute and the other flying rapidly and frequently(!) over a four block area.  One of the adults watched from the gargoyle on Lawrence Hall, above.

The purpose of Fledge Watch is to rescue newly-fledged peregrines if they land on the ground.  That early flight period of their lives is over so Downtown Fledge Watch has ended, too.

Meanwhile at the Gulf Tower, a falcon came for a visit…

American kestrel at the Gulf Tower nest site (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

American kestrel at the Gulf Tower nest site (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Gulf Tower)

… but it was not a peregrine.  He’s an American kestrel.  Pretty bird!

 

Neville Island I-79 Bridge:

Adult peregrine at Neville Island I-79 bridge (photo by Gene Henderson)

Adult peregrine at Neville Island I-79 bridge (photo by Gene Henderson)

We’re saddened to hear from Anne Marie Bosynak that she saw a dead peregrine fledgling on the road at the I-79 Neville Island Bridge last evening.  It was below the spot where she saw one perching the day before.  You can’t stop your car on the bridge so Anne Marie drove by many times to check its identity.  Both adults were visible but she couldn’t find the other fledgling.

Alas. 🙁

Urban peregrines face so many challenges that cliff-nesting peregrines avoid.

 

(photo credits: National Aviary falconcams, John English, Gene Henderson. See captions.)

17 responses so far

Jun 09 2016

June 9: Fledge Watch Downtown & Schenley

Peregrine fledgling whining at 309 Smithfield St, 8 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Peregrine fledgling whining at 309 Smithfield St, 8 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

I will be Downtown June 9 at 11:25 am to 12:25 pm, then at Schenley Fledge Watch 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. Check the Events page for many updates.

News of the Downtown peregrines:

As of yesterday morning all four nestlings had flown.
7:30am to 10:30am: 3 fledglings visible simultaneously.
11:00am to end of day: 2 fledglings visible simultaneously. The others were perched out of sight.

For most of the day a fledgling perched and screamed from a 7th floor windowsill at 309 Smithfield Street (above).  The screaming meant “Parents! Bring me food!” but his parents ignored him because they wanted him to fly to a better perch.  Concerned observers called the Game Commission.  No worries. A high-up screaming peregrine is OK, just annoying.

At noon, Tuesday’s rescued bird ran along the edge of the porch and flew 1.5 blocks to the top of the Art Institute.

Peregrine fledgling practices flying short distances on the rescue porch edge (photo by Lori Maggio)

Peregrine fledgling practices short distance flights at the rescue porch (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

At 4:10pm Lori Maggio found this fledgling on an arch at the Pioneer Building, Wood Street at Boulevard of the Allies.

Peregrine fledgling on a 5th floor arch, 8 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Peregrine fledgling on a 5th floor arch, 8 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Today the Downtown fledglings will be harder to find because they’re flying everywhere.

UPDATE June 9, 12:20pm: Today is the last day of Downtown Fledge Watch.  The youngsters are flying so well that it’s really hard to keep up with them.
Around noon I found 1 adult on the Third Ave gargoyle, 1 youngster on top of the Art Institute and another (apparently The Screamer) on a 6th floor ledge on Third Avenue. The Screamer is really good at flying now. He moves fast!

 

(photos by Lori Maggio)

If you stop by Downtown Fledge Watch check the ground. If you find a fledgling, corral it to a safe zone and call the PGC “rescue” number (724-238-9523).

21 responses so far

Jun 09 2016

Two Fledged at Neville Island I-79 Bridge

Published by under Peregrines

Fledged peregrine falcon at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 7 June 2016 (photo by Gene Henderson)

Fledged peregrine falcon at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 7 June 2016 (photo by Gene Henderson)

Anne Marie Bosnyak reports that two peregrines have fledged from the Neville Island I-79 Bridge as of yesterday evening, June 8.

The first one, above, was seen by Gene Henderson on Tuesday afternoon, June 7.  An adult watched over it.

Adult peregrine watches fledgling at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 7 June 2016 (photo by Gene Henderson)

Adult peregrine watches fledgling at Neville Island I-79 Bridge, 7 June 2016 (photo by Gene Henderson)

 

(photos by Gene Henderson)

3 responses so far

Jun 08 2016

June 8: Watch for Downtown Peregrines

Fledge watchers Downtown at Third Ave, 7 June 2016 (photo by John English)

Fledge watchers Downtown at Third Ave, 7 June 2016 (photo by John English)

I will be Downtown 11:25am-to-12:30pm.

John English will be at Schenley Fledge Watch at noon.

Please stop by Downtown Fledge Watch any time and check for peregrines on the ground. If you find one, corral it to a safe zone and call the PGC “rescue” number: 724-238-9523.

As you can see there’s a pretty side of the street (above) and the dumpster side of the street (below).

 

News of the Downtown peregrines:

As of June 7 at 2:00pm: 3 had fledged, 1 was still in the nest. One of the three had been rescued and was 19 stories up at Lawrence Hall. Both parents visible.

As of June 8, 7:30am:  Lori Maggio reports that two of the fledglings are two stories up and whining loudly at the gated area behind Dollar Bank. They’re begging for food. My guess is that their parents are refusing to feed them until they fly up higher.  This is a noisy test of wills which the older generation will eventually win.  The “kids” have to learn to stay up high.

 

… Yesterday John English caught us by the dumpsters looking at our cellphones.  Yoy!

Fledge watchers Downtown, 7 June 2016 (photo by John English)

Fledge watchers Downtown, 7 June 2016 (photo by John English)

 

(photos by John English)

UPDATE, June 8, 8:30am:  Photo from Lori Maggio, two fledglings at back of Dollar Bank. Today’s gusty winds may keep these birds low today.  SEE ABOVE FOR THE REASON WHY THEY’RE WHINING.

Two peregrine fledglings at back of Dollar Bank, 8 June 2016, 7:30am (photo by Lori Maggio)

Two peregrine fledglings at back of Dollar Bank, 8 June 2016, 7:30am (photo by Lori Maggio)

UPDATE AT 12:20pm: All 4 have fledged. Rescue Porch bird flew to top of Art Institute (good job!). Another fledgling is perched at a blue window approx 7 floors up on Smithfield Street above Crazy Mocha. Haven’t seen the other two yet. (We try to locate all of them but it’s impossible this stage.) As I left Fledge Watch, Lori Maggio and Dallas DiLeo are on site.

NO CHANGE as of 4:30pm except Art Institute bird flew to Pioneer Hall (corner of Wood and Blvd of the allies) on the Wood Street side. 5 stories up on an arch. Only 2 are visible.

3 responses so far

Jun 08 2016

She Turned Brown

Peregrine chick, C1, at 32 days old, 31 May 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Female peregrine chick at 32 days old, 31 May 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

The peregrine chick at the Cathedral of Learning, C1, has changed a lot in the past week.

On May 31 she was mostly white.  Now (June 7) she’s mostly brown.  C1 has grown her juvenile plumage and preened away at lot of the down.

Pitt peregrine chick at 39 days old, 7 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Female peregrine chick at 39 days old, 7 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

Yesterday she was 39 days old, the age at which male peregrine chicks often fledge at the Cathedral of Learning. However, females fly a few days later than the males because they are 1/3 larger and heavier.  It will be several more days before C1 flies.

When she walks off camera she’ll fledge in (typically) 2-5 days.

 

(photos from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

6 responses so far

Jun 07 2016

Downtown Rescue #1

Published by under Peregrines

Peregrine on Wood Street or 4th Ave (photo by Amanda McGuire)

Peregrine on Wood Street or 4th Ave (photo by Amanda McGuire)

Peregrine Fledge Watch was exciting this morning in Downtown Pittsburgh.  This bird was rescued after walking down Wood Street and turning the corner to 4th Avenue.

Right now he’s in custody at Animal Control. PGC’s Officer Bergman is on his way.  If this peregrine is in good condition he’ll be up on the rescue porch soon.

Reminder: Schenley Plaza Fledge Watch is cancelled today.  I will be Downtown noon to 1:00pm

 

(photo by Amanda McGuire)

p.s. At first I misheard Officer Bergman’s name & thought it was “Byrd.”  Oops!  Typo corrected.

18 responses so far

Jun 07 2016

June 7 Fledge Watch: Downtown, NOT at Schenley!

Published by under Peregrines

Downtown Pittsburgh peregrine fledgling , 6 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Downtown Pittsburgh peregrine fledgling , 6 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

SCHENLEY PLAZA WATCH IS CANCELLED TODAY, JUNE 7.

Instead, I will be Downtown noon-to-1:00pm.

(see below for more info)

News of Downtown’s peregrines, June 6:
Two of the four nestlings fledged yesterday.  We found them at noon perched like bookends on the Boulevard of the Allies, 8-stories high on the corners of Lawrence Hall and Point Park Student Center.

In the evening Lori Maggio found both on Lawrence Hall and one of them was only 2.5 stories up on the Boulevard side.  I hope he flies high today.

The remaining two nestlings are still at the nest. My guess is they’re both female.

Remaining two peregrine nestlings at the Third Ave nest, 6 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

Remaining two peregrine nestlings at the Third Ave nest, 6 June 2016 (photo by Lori Maggio)

 

News from the Cathedral of Learning, June 6:
C1 is browner and has lost more down but she’s still days behind the Downtown nestlings.  Yesterday she graduated to the perching phase.  There’s not much to see from Schenley Plaza.  All the action is still on camera.

C1 exercises her wings at the front perch, 6 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

C1 exercises her wings at the front perch, 6 June 2016 (photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

 

Status of Fledge Watch, Tuesday June 7 & 8:

I can’t be in two places at once and the Downtown peregrines are in need of watchers so I won’t be at Schenley.

Schenley Plaza Fledge Watch is cancelled today, June 7 (and probably tomorrow June 8, too).

Check the Events page for updates every day.

 

(photos of Downtown peregines by Lori Maggio.  Webcam photo from the National Aviary falconcam at Univ of Pittsburgh)

3 responses so far

Jun 07 2016

9 Places To Watch Peregrines in Western PA

Published by under Peregrines

View of Downtown Pittsburgh from Mt.Washington, June 2016 (photo by Kate St.John)

View of Downtown Pittsburgh from Mt.Washington, June 2016 (photo by Kate St.John)

Did you know there are 9 places to watch peregrine falcons in western Pennsylvania?  Here’s where to find them in early June.

 

1. Downtown Pittsburgh (map of viewing location):  Only one pair of peregrines owns all of downtown Pittsburgh where they’ve nested since 1991, originally at the Gulf Tower.  This month we confirmed the Downtown parents are still Dori (Akron, OH, 2007) and Louie (Pitt, 2002).  They have 4 nestlings on Third Avenue that are leaving the nest this week.  Visit soon or you’ll miss them.  Click here for more information.

 

2.  Cathedral of Learning, University of Pittsburgh (map of viewing location):

Cathedral of Learning (photo by Kate St. John)

Cathedral of Learning (photo by Kate St. John)

The Cathedral of Learning is the only western Pennsylvania peregrine nest with a webcam.  The site has been home to peregrines since their first nesting attempt in 2001.  This year Hope (Hopewell, VA, 2008) and Terzo (Cincinnati, OH, 2013) have one nestling who’s due to fledge this week. Visit Schenley Plaza to watch.  Check the Events page for dates & times when I’ll be there, too.

 

3. Westinghouse Bridge (map of viewing location):

Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Kate St. John)

Westinghouse Bridge (photo by Kate St. John)

The Westinghouse Bridge carries Route 30 over Turtle Creek and has been home to peregrine falcons since at least 2010.  The male at this site is George (Cobb Island, VA, 2006) but in late April the female, Storm, lost a territorial battle to an unbanded juvenile female.  As of May 16 the new couple did not appear to be nesting but that may change.  The best place to watch is on Elder Street underneath the E.Pittsburgh-McKeesport Bridge.

 

4. McKees Rocks Bridge (map of bridge location):

McKees Rocks Bridge (photo by Robert Strovers on Wikimedia Commons)

McKees Rocks Bridge (photo by Robert Strovers on Wikimedia Commons)

Peregrine falcons have nested at the McKees Rocks Bridge since at least 2008 but their nest is hard to find because the bridge is so big.  During the nesting season watch for peregrines perched on the bridge or on power towers on either side of the river.  Viewing locations are a challenge.  Let us know if you find a good one.

 

5. Neville Island I-79 Bridge (map of viewing locations):

Neville Island I-79 Bridge (photo by Robert Stovers on Wikimedia Commons)Neville Island I-79 Bridge (photo by Robert Stovers on Wikimedia Commons)

Neville Island I-79 Bridge (photo by Robert Stovers on Wikimedia Commons)

This bridge has been home to peregrines since at least 2012 when a fledgling was found swimming in the Ohio River below.  Last year the pair was confirmed to be Beau (Pitt, 2010) and Magnum (Canton, OH, 2010) but may have changed.  Their nest this year is over the center of the river facing the north shore.  Watch them from these viewing locations.

 

6. Monaca-E.Rochester Bridge (map of viewing area):

Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012(photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)

Monaca East Rochester Bridge, 2012(photo by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker)

Only one pair of peregrines owns the Beaver-Monaca-E.Rochester territory but they move their nest year to year.  Some years it’s on the big black railroad bridge from Monaca to Beaver.  This year it’s under the deck of the Monaca – East Rochester Bridge that carries Rt 51 over the Ohio River.  They’re easy to see from these viewing locations.

 

7. Tarentum Bridge (map of viewing location):

Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)

Tarentum Bridge, Allegheny River, 2 June 2012 (photo by Kate St. John)

Peregrine falcons have nested at the Tarentum Bridge over the Allegheny River since at least 2010.  Because the nests were in cubbyholes over open water a nest box was provided in early 2015.  This spring there are new adults at the site but we don’t know their identities. However they’re easy to see at the Tarentum public boat launch. Are they nesting?

 

8. The Graff Bridge, Kittanning Route 422 (map of bridge):

U.S. Route 422 bridge over the Allegheny River at Kittanning, PA (photo from Wikimedia Commons)

Western approach to Route 422 at Kittanning, PA (photo by S.Lukens via Wikimedia Commons)

Southwestern Pennsylvania’s newest pair of peregrines has taken up residence at the Judge Graff Bridge that carries Route 422 over the Allegheny River near Kittanning.  I’ve not been to the site yet so I can’t give you tips on the best viewing location.  If you know where to see them, please leave a comment with the answer.

 

9. Erie, PA Waterfront (map of viewing location):

DonJon Shipbuilding, Erie, PA (photo linked from donjonshipbuilding.com)

DonJon Shipbuilding, Erie, PA (photo linked from donjonshipbuilding.com)

Peregrines have been in Erie, PA for at least five years but no one knew where they nested until a fledgling was found inside the Donjon Shipyard building in 2014.  Nomad (Cleveland, 2008) and an unbanded female are nesting inside the big white building pictured above.  You can see them perched nearby or flying in the vicinity from this viewing location.

 

Early June is a great time to watch peregrine falcons in western Pennsylvania.  It’s time to get outdoors.

 

(photo credits:
Downtown Pittsburgh, Cathedral of Learning, Westinghouse Bridge, Tarentum Bridge by Kate St. John
McKees Rocks Bridge, Neville Island I-79 Bridge by Robert Stovers via Wikimedia Commons
Monaca-E.Rochester Bridge by PGC WCO Steve Leiendecker
Judge Graff Bridge by S.Lukens via Wikimedia Commons
Donjon Shipbuilding linked from donjonshipbuilding.com
)

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